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Disappearing Nightly: Book One of Esther Diamond (Esther Diamond Novel) Mass Market Paperback – June 5, 2012
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“Swift, fresh, and inventive, DISAPPEARING NIGHTLY is Laura Resnick at her witty best. Not to be missed!”—Mary Jo Putney, New York Times bestselling author
“A paranormal screwball comedy adventure. Light, happy, fantastically funny!”—Jennifer Cruise, New York Times bestselling author
“A delightful mélange of amateur sleuth mystery, romance and urban fantasy.... Esther Diamond, (is) a protagonist as quirky as Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse…and with the sex appeal of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake.”—Explorations
About the Author
Laura Resnick was born in Chicago, and when she was a teenager her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up in a family of writers, daughter of SF writer Mike Resnick, she never thought she would end up in a writing career, herself. A cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied languages and linguistics. Laura can speak French and Italian. After college, she moved overseas for a few years, where she studed acting at London's Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Laura Resnick can be found at sff.net/people/laresnick/.
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What I don't like is the whole casual rape aspect at the end; it's really glossed over. This is beach reading, but it's not much more than that. Weirdly shallow despite there being a lot of room for exploration...
Amusing characters, tart sometimes; a welcome break from the 'I'm-the-super-with-the-scariest-sexy-powers-and-oh-I'm-gorgeous-too' type of heroine. Except, of course, that Esther really is special in a refreshingly human way.
That goes for this entire series.
I understand how one could argue that some plot directions were not a complete surprise, but really, that's part of the fun. Would it be fair to give a James Bond movie a thumbs down because James Bond beats the bad guy? No. Only if you didn't enjoy the ride, and I definitely enjoyed the journey while reading this book. The characters are fun. I loved the dialog. Some books temp me to skip ahead a few pages when the pace gets a little slow and I think I see what the characters should do next to solve the mystery. I admit that I was tempted a couple of times, but I couldn't do it because the way the characters were interacting on the page I was currently reading was too entertaining. Strong heroine. Passionate supporting characters. Clever dialog.
Don't take the book too seriously, sit down, and enjoy this gem for a while because - good news - this book isn't short. And I'm excited because it is just the first in the series.
So I enjoyed the rest (Dopplegangster, Unsympathetic Magic, and Vampirazzi), and waited. Was it worth the wait? Yes--even knowing who the bad-guy was, since the case that introduced Esther to Dr. Zadok was referenced in the other books--I thoroughly enjoyed it. Esther Diamond is a fun and engaging character, far from the Action Girl stereotype so prevalent in urban fantasy, and it is great fun watching her fight Evil with a shoe. Resnick's plots are serious; the humor arises from her very real and very human characters. I recommend it to anyone who likes a little laughter in his magical mysteries.
Lately, urban fantasy is hit or miss with me. Disappearing Nightly held my interest through the entire book and that is saying a lot for me lately. The dialogue is witty, the characters are well developed, and the world is more urban than fantasy -- but still fun.
The setting is NYC among actors and various types of performers. The feel of the book is funny crime fiction that intersects with the magic world. The set up and scenes are funny and then the interactions with the characters is funny. There is a Stephanie Plum feel but with less slap stick and more substance. The characters are slowly introduced with time to get to know each one. Resnick builds her story slowly, nothing happens too easily or swiftly.
What is unique about Esther (the main character) is that she is not amazingly beautiful with mad fighting skills. She is pretty average in appearance and defense skills, yet somehow she is still appealing to the man she is interested in and able to survive some encounters she gets herself into.
For romance lovers there is a hint of attraction and romance, but no true satisfaction is had. This is a fun, quick read and I just don't understand why this series and author do not receive more attention. I definitely plan on reading the next one in this series. I don't have that desperate need to move on to #2, but it is nice knowing that #2 is there and I want to read it. I will leave you with a few funny quotes that demonstrate what a fun read this is:
"I looked between him and the fire. 'Did you .. did you .. Is that magic?' He seemed faintly puzzled as he waved a hand holding a remote. 'No, I've switched it on.' "
"Men can rarely resist a sultry beauty with tears in her eyes. Especially if they haven't yet realized she's got a p**** under that tight red skirt."
" 'We confront Evil.' 'Well', I said. 'Uh-huh. I see.' If someone ever tells you he's a member of a worldwide club whose mission is to confront Evil, I defy you to come up with a pithy reply on the spot."
"I was letting a sexy, employed, straight single man whom I really liked leave my apartment with a brief wave and no plans for a date. It was just barely possible, I mused, that I wasn't running my life as well as I might."